Monday, February 27, 2023

Tree Pruning to Liriope Pruning

                                            Liriope Cut Back
                                            Preemergent  vs No Preemergent. Right to the property line!
                                                     Wet Winter - Treat now for Turf Disease

Horticulture Hotline 02/27/23

By Bill Lamson-Scribner


Now, is a great time to inspect your trees for torn limbs that need to be properly pruned. Many of my deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves) are either just starting to put on new leaves or still naked. The green weeds are easy to spot in the lawn or beds (yes, I get weeds too). Insect inventory, especially scale, is easy to evaluate at this time. Any sooty mold left behind from last year indicates other insects. Have you inspected your yard for mosquito breeding areas? Do you have liriope that needs to be cut or mowed. I hate to ask this, but does anyone have moles? Have you seen any Lady Banks Roses or Carolina Jasmine? How about the smell of a sweet tea olive?


Right now, before your deciduous trees put on new leaves, is an excellent time to take a close look at them. If your trees are larger, it is a great time to get a professional tree company in to look at them. Look for crossing and rubbing limbs or limbs that are growing towards the middle of the tree. Look for limbs that have died, been damaged by ice or wind or just look unhealthy. By pruning these limbs now, you can direct all the new leaves and growth to limbs you want to keep long term, and not waste the energy of the tree to put on new leaves that you are going to remove later.


Dr. Shigo (the main man as far as early tree knowledge goes) found that trees do 85% of their growing for the year by May, so it is very important to have fertilizer available to your trees at this time. Either hire a professional to soil inject your trees or use a granular. SeaHume granular along with a 17-00-09 will get the tree headed in the right direction. A soil test is always the best way to determine your soil’s needs.


When your tree is naked, vines growing up into the canopy are easy to spot along the trunk of the tree. Since the tree does not have any leaves, these vines are easier to remove than when the tree and vine have leaves. I pull these vines away from the tree, scrap off some bark and apply Brush Killer to the open wound.


Weeds growing beneath the tree are easier to spot and deal with if you have a low branching deciduous tree. My fig tree has these big leaves, so once the leaves come out, it is very hard to spray herbicide underneath the tree without hitting the fig tree’s leaves. Some herbicides volatize, so without leaves a tree is less likely to get damaged. Spray now before the flush of leaves.


If you have any Asiatic Jasmine or Ivy that has grown into areas you do not want it, right now, while it is putting on young tender growth, is going to be your best time to control it. Consider using a product like Brushmaster for these hard to kill vines. Once the new growth has hardened off, certain vines are very hard to control.


If you have been plagued by black sooty mold in the past, right now, apply Dominion Tree & Shrub as a drench to these plants to control the insects that produce the black sooty mold. Get it out now to protect the new foliage from insect attack. Insects like that young tender foliage like us (cabbage, spinach, lettuce).



The temperatures are right to apply preemergent products. Do not delay! Get them out now for less hot, gnatty, summertime weeding and competition for your plants, and weeds are unsightly.


Hold off on the high nitrogen fertilizers for now. SeaHume and controlling winter weeds to lessen your seed bank for next year should be your focus. With all the winter rains fungus could be a big issue in your yard depending on your soil type and drainage.


Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.



Monday, February 20, 2023

Rain - Too Much or Too Little

                                            State Flower - Carolina Jasmine - Bees Love It!
                                                      Cotton Burr Compost - early runners -

                                                       looks like blades of mower need sharpening

                                                     Wet Winter Brings Turf Disease

Horticulture Hotline 02/20/23

By Bill Lamson-Scribner


We have had an exceptional amount of rain this winter. I see puddles that never dry! It is not good to play sports on wet grass. When the ground is wet, it compacts easier and the grass gets damaged. Managing water is very important for the health of your house and landscape.


Starting with gutters, do you have them? Do you need them? Are they clean and functioning properly? Are your gutters a breeding ground for mosquitoes? If water is running off your roof and draining under your house (crawl space), you may want to consider gutters. Moisture underneath a house can led to mold, fungus, moisture damage and termites. Homes without gutters often get rot around windows when the water runs off the roof and splashes off of plants back onto the house.


If you have gutters, are the plants near the downspouts drowning? Do you need to put a piece of flexible pipe on the end of the downspout and direct the water to a place in the yard where it is not a problem? Could you collect this water in a rain barrel and store it for future use?


A large low area in the yard could be dealt with in many ways. Find the lowest point and put a drain and run the water elsewhere. If there are not any tree roots in the area, you could fill in the area with topsoil a little at a time so you don’t kill the grass. If the area is small enough, consider using bagged topsoil, so you do not bring a bunch of weeds in the soil to your yard. If the area is really big, you could remove the grass with a sod cutter and re-grade the area – adding drains if needed.


If you would like to drain an area very effectively and without having to do a lot of digging, then Turface is the way to go. All you need to do is aerate the area then apply Turface. If you don’t have an aerator, you can just spread the Turface along the surface. We have worked with many customers using this product in many different situations with great results. Turface will help drain large areas and small areas. Some areas that are bigger and wetter you can dig columns with a post hole digger or auger and backfill with Turface. You will also save on the water and fungicide bill with this product. Turface also helps with compaction.


Using wetting agents can also help get water off of the surface and into the ground.


Hot topics at Possum’s – pruning (what / when / how), moles, fungus, rats, preemergent products and timing (the time is now!), weeds (kill them now before they produce seeds for next year), custom soil tests…


Always read and follow product label. It is the law.


Monday, February 13, 2023

Things Are Happening


Horticulture Hotline 02/13/23

By Bill Lamson-Scribner


The Tulip Magnolia (Saucer Magnolia) is blooming in the Lowcountry.  The Saucer Magnolia has always been one of my favorites because of the time it blooms (late January / early February) and the fact that it blooms before the leaves emerge. It is time to be sure the winter projects have been completed, and the proactive spring projects in the yard and around the house have been completed.


Healthy trees grow 12 to 24 inches a year. Areas of grass might be shaded and thin that were once high-quality turf. Now, might be a good time to cut new bed lines and let the tree have more room to grow. Check the sides of your house for limbs rubbing the paint off of your house. The paint protects your house like your skin protects you or like bark protects a tree.


Look above your roof line and see if any limbs are growing above your roof that could allow varmints (squirrels, raccoons, or the loveable possum) into your attic. Make sure your source of power to your house is free of limbs. Hire an insured arborist if you need some pruning done.


Any transplanting or planting of new trees or shrubs should be done ASAP. Try to get them in the ground before the plant flushes out new growth or blooms. If you are buying a blooming plant that you want a specific color or to match a color you already have, you may have to wait; otherwise, the sooner you can plant the better. When planting, remember SUPERthrive Solid to help with survival of your new investment. SUPERthrive Solid has all the good stuff to get your plant off to a healthy start.

Remember the old saying when planting, “plant it high and it will not die!”


Intice 10 perimeter bait is a great product to put out around the perimeter of your house for roaches, crickets, sowbugs, earwigs, silverfish, millipedes and certain ants. Intice 10 is a LEED tier 3 product and N.O.P. (National Organics Program) compliant, so it is considered very safe.


Intice 10 should also be broadcasted in the yard for mole crickets. Since Over n Out changed the active ingredient away from Fipronil, mole crickets have become a major turf pest again. Mole crickets come to the surface on these warm days and love to eat this bait!


Judging from the flea products we have been selling at Possum’s, now would be a good time to get ahead of the fleas. Be sure to use a product with a growth regulator. Precor 2000, IG Regulator, Alpine Flea Insecticide with IGR are just a few products that will get you ahead of the curve.




Get out your preemergent, or forever fight weeds!! I usually wait until my bald cypress starts to “needle out” and then I go on an organic binge with SeaHume, Cotton Burr Compost, worm castings and others; however, this year I’m already seeing new growth on some plants so I guess it is time for the organics.


If you have a history with fungus or insects on certain plants, sanitation, lime / sulfur, and your fungicide or insecticide of choice is good to put out now to protect the new growth. With these rainy, cloudy, overcast days brown patch / large patch will be going crazy when the temperatures are right.


Spring in the Lowcountry… Notice the gnats come out whenever we have a nice afternoon?


Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.